About UCD Innovation Academy

We are a group of creative problem-solvers innovation experts, including leading academics,
entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, agricultural innovators, and design thinking practitioners.

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About UCD Innovation Academy

We are a group of creative problem-solvers innovation experts, including leading academics, entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, agricultural innovators, and design thinking practitioners.


Innovation Academy Approach 

At UCD Innovation Academy we take a highly action-oriented approach to teaching and learning. All of our teaching is grounded in academic rigour but our focus is on the practical application of this in a real-world context. We work with over 1,000 learners each year from UCD Undergraduates to PhD students and professionals from Industry across all sectors.

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We are an Idea Factory

We are an idea factory. Conceiving radical solutions to long standing problems is not easy. Thoughts arise better when we set the conditions for them. We teach tools for thinking.
You are safe to Dream

We give students the freedom to conceive any idea, and to test it. Mistakes are ok. The Creative Studios of The Innovation Academy are a safe space to try new things.
Testing before acting

The Academy’s students learn to test their ideas against real world conditions as early as possible. We teach methods for testing ideas and products before investing in their development. We push for practicality.
Academic grounding

The Academy is a unit of University College Dublin, the largest university in the Republic of Ireland. Its awards are externally examined by Professor Richard Templer, Director of Innovation at The Grantham Institute, Imperial College London.

“In avoiding having groups of people with the same background or experience working together, the academy’s graduates gain knowledge of how to tackle tough problems and work in a cross-disciplinary atmosphere.”The Irish Examiner
Innovation holds the key to sustainable growth. July 2014

“In avoiding having groups of people with the same background or experience working together, the academy’s graduates gain knowledge of how to tackle tough problems and work in a cross-disciplinary atmosphere.”The Irish Examiner
Innovation holds the key to sustainable growth. July 2014

The connected mind 

The founder of UCD John Henry Newman proposed that the University should shape minds capable of engaging in many strands of knowledge. Rather than be tied down to one discipline only, the student should be drawn to the knowledge of many others. Mixing the disciplines, he believed, would allow for a more universal thinker. In his words:


“all branches of knowledge are connected together… The Sciences … have multiplied bearings one on another, and an internal sympathy, and admit, or rather demand, comparison and adjustment. They complete, correct, balance each other. … There is no science but tells a different tale, when viewed as a portion of a whole, from what it is likely to suggest when taken by itself, without the safeguard, as I may call it, of others.

“Let me make use of an illustration. In the combination of colours, very different effects are produced by a difference in their selection and juxtaposition; red, green, and white, change their shades, according to the contrast to which they are submitted. And, in like manner, the drift and meaning of a branch of knowledge varies with the company in which it is introduced to the student. If his reading is confined simply to one subject, … it has a tendency to contract his mind.”


The connected mind 

The founder of UCD John Henry Newman proposed that the University should shape minds capable of engaging in many strands of knowledge. Rather than be tied down to one discipline only, the student should be drawn to the knowledge of many others. Mixing the disciplines, he believed, would allow for a more universal thinker. In his words:


“all branches of knowledge are connected together… The Sciences … have multiplied bearings one on another, and an internal sympathy, and admit, or rather demand, comparison and adjustment. They complete, correct, balance each other. … There is no science but tells a different tale, when viewed as a portion of a whole, from what it is likely to suggest when taken by itself, without the safeguard, as I may call it, of others.

“Let me make use of an illustration. In the combination of colours, very different effects are produced by a difference in their selection and juxtaposition; red, green, and white, change their shades, according to the contrast to which they are submitted. And, in like manner, the drift and meaning of a branch of knowledge varies with the company in which it is introduced to the student. If his reading is confined simply to one subject, … it has a tendency to contract his mind.”

David NevinAbout us